Do you know the symptoms, signs and causes of myocardial infarction? Myocardial infarction is a disease that, if left untreated, can lead to death within minutes. In fact, myocardial infarction is counted as one of the three major causes of death. Therefore, if symptoms reminiscent of myocardial infarction appear, it is important to promptly receive examination and treatment at a hospital. This time, let’s look at the causes and symptoms of myocardial infarction. In addition, the characteristics of people at high risk of myocardial infarction and prevention and treatment methods are explained in detail. Please watch until the end to prevent sudden death from myocardial infarction.
Myocardial infarction is a dangerous disease
Myocardial infarction is a condition in which the heart muscle is necrotic because blood flow to the coronary arteries that affect the heart is not supplied for some reason. In most cases, the cause of myocardial infarction is blockage of the thick blood vessels called coronary arteries that carry blood and nutrients to the heart. When the blood supply to the myocardium is cut off due to a myocardial infarction, the heart stops pumping blood to the body and eventually death.
What are the symptoms of a myocardial infarction?
In myocardial infarction, the following symptoms appear because blood stops reaching the heart.
- intense chest painpain in the chest
- cold sweat
- nausea vomiting
- decreased consciousness
- chest palpitations
Symptoms of a myocardial infarction usually last more than 20 minutes. If left untreated, it can lead to confusion, fainting, and death. In some people, symptoms may not appear until the myocardial infarction is moderately severe.
What causes myocardial infarction?
Most of the causes of myocardial infarction are arteriosclerosis. Atherosclerosis is a condition in which blood vessels become hard and weak. When arteriosclerosis occurs, the walls of the blood vessels become thicker, which narrows the inside of the blood vessels and, as a result, tends to stagnate blood flow. In addition, when plaque and other substances adhere to the inside of the blood vessels, blood flow is completely shut down. Myocardial infarction is a condition in which this shutdown of blood flow occurs in the coronary arteries. For reference, if it occurs in the brain, it leads to a cerebral infarction.
Characteristics of people prone to myocardial infarction
Myocardial infarction often develops from atherosclerosis. Hyperlipidemia, high blood pressure, and diabetes cause arteriosclerosis and tend to develop cerebral infarction and myocardial infarction. In other words, those prone to myocardial infarction are more prone to arteriosclerosis. Atherosclerosis is often attributed to lifestyle disruptions. For example, people who can guess the following lifestyle habits are at high risk of arteriosclerosis and myocardial infarction.
- Diet with excess lipids, carbohydrates, and salts
- lack of exercise
- lack of sleep
- stress fatigue
- smoking and drinking
What is the difference between angina and angina?
Angina, like myocardial infarction, is a disease in which blood temporarily stops reaching the heart due to stenosis of the coronary arteries. Myocardial infarction and angina are collectively called ischemic heart disease. Both sides have very similar symptoms and causes, but there are also significant differences. A typical difference is the duration of symptoms. Symptoms of angina pectoris can be resolved within 20 minutes at the longest. The reason is that ischemia caused by angina is only temporary. Because blood vessels are not completely blocked, if you are at rest, blood flow will resume naturally and accompanying symptoms will subside. On the other hand, myocardial infarction symptoms do not subside naturally. Therefore, myocardial infarction is suspected if symptoms persist for more than 20 to 30 minutes. However, even after a myocardial infarction, symptoms such as chest pain may stop on the way after a few hours. This didn’t make the symptoms better, it just made myocardial necrosis no longer painful. Even as long as you don’t feel pain, your condition will get worse. Also, it is not necessary to measure the duration of symptoms to differentiate between myocardial infarction and angina. If symptoms of ischemic heart disease appear, call an ambulance and immediately transport them to a medical institution.
What is myocardial infarction examination and diagnosis method?
How is myocardial infarction diagnosed?
Diagnosis of myocardial infarction is generally performed through questionnaire and examination. During the interview, the doctor asks the patient the following questions:
- Presence or absence of chest pain
- chest pain area
- Timing when you feel pain (during exercise, resting, etc.)
- Time to start feeling pain
- Is there a person with heart disease in a relative?
- Presence or absence of lifestyle-related diseases
If serious symptoms have already appeared, you can skip the interview and start the test right away.
Test method and test contents when myocardial infarction is suspected
When a myocardial infarction is suspected, the following tests are usually performed.
- Electrocardiography: Checking the ECG waveform characteristic of myocardial infarction
- echocardiography: using ultrasound outside the body to examine the site of a heart infarction
- CT scan: to evaluate angina, such as coronary artery calcification
- Catheter examination: a contrast medium is passed through a coronary artery by a catheter and X-rays are used to examine the state of blood flow
- Blood test: Investigation of the presence or absence of an enzyme called ‘troponin T’ released during myocardial infarction
If any symptoms appear, is it a good idea to see a doctor?
The timing of the examination is as soon as you become aware of the symptoms of myocardial infarction. Typical symptoms of myocardial infarction include severe chest pain and painful sensations in the chest. Incidentally, myocardial infarction may be a precursor to a full-fledged onset. A typical precursor is angina pectoris, which is characterized by the following symptoms:
- severe chest pain
- chest tightness, chest discomfort
- intense pain in arms, shoulders, teeth, etc.
Even if these symptoms appear, please seek medical attention immediately just in case. Myocardial infarction is expected to recover with a shorter time from onset to initiation of treatment. In fact, it is also known that for myocardial infarction, treatment within 6 hours after the onset of the onset is the difference between life and death. However, many cases of myocardial infarction die within an hour of onset. To reduce the risk of death as much as possible, call an ambulance as soon as you become aware of a myocardial infarction. Myocardial infarction can leave serious sequelae, even if death is avoided. Typical sequelae are heart failure or arrhythmia. Since the myocardium necrotic due to myocardial infarction does not regenerate, these symptoms tend to appear.
Causes and symptoms of low blood pressure
How to treat and prevent myocardial infarction?
How to treat myocardial infarction
There are two main types of treatment for myocardial infarction: ‘medication’ and ‘surgery’. In drug therapy, the following drugs are used to treat myocardial infarction.
- Antiplatelet drugs: inhibit the expansion of the infarct by preventing blood clotting
- Beta-blockers: Lowers heart rate and blood pressure, reducing strain on the heart
- Nitrates (nitroglycerin): increase blood flow by dilating blood vessels
- Calcium antagonists: inhibit the constriction of blood vessels or convergence of coronary arteries
- For moderate to severe myocardial infarction, surgical treatment is usually the choice
- Thrombolytic therapy: injecting drugs that dissolve blood clots blocking blood vessels
- Catheter Intervention: A catheter through the infarct to dilate blood vessels and resume blood flow
- Coronary artery bypass surgery: surgically reconnecting the coronary artery with the artery close to the infarct
Is there a risk of myocardial infarction recurring?
Myocardial infarction is a disease with a risk of recurrence. In particular, the risk of recurrence increases if the prescribed drug is stopped by self-judgment. Myocardial infarction tends to worsen with each relapse. This is because the extent of necrosis of the myocardium expands with each relapse. Extensive myocardial necrosis can sometimes cause the heart to hardly function. This is the so-called heart failure condition. In the sense of reducing the risk of aggravation and death, those who have had a myocardial infarction in the past should strive to prevent recurrence. In order to prevent recurrence of myocardial infarction, it is important to visit the hospital regularly after treatment and to take prescription drugs as directed by the doctor.
Can myocardial infarction be prevented? I want to know how to prevent it.
There is no 100% way to prevent myocardial infarction. However, it is possible to significantly lower the risk of myocardial infarction by following the usual measures. In order to prevent myocardial infarction, it is important to make efforts to improve and prevent lifestyle-related diseases such as diabetes, lipidemia, hypertension, and obesity. Lifestyle-related diseases cause hardening of the arteries, the cause of myocardial infarction. Therefore, by working on the prevention of lifestyle-related diseases, it is possible to reduce the risk of atherosclerosis and myocardial infarction.
- A nutritionally balanced diet that avoids lipids, carbohydrates and salt
- moderate exercise
- enough sleep
- stress relief
- no smoking
If you have already had a myocardial infarction, please be mindful of not only reviewing your lifestyle, but also taking regular examinations at the hospital and taking prescription medications correctly.
Myocardial infarction is a terrifying disease that can lead to death in a short time. If you notice symptoms of myocardial infarction (severe chest pain, night sweats, palpitations, etc.), promptly call an ambulance and seek treatment at a medical institution. Although myocardial infarction is the leading cause of death, it can also be prevented through lifestyle re-examination. Let’s be conscious of not causing myocardial infarction or repeating it by paying attention to a well-balanced diet and moderate exercise on a daily basis.
Myocardial infarction is one of the familiar diseases. Since most of the causes are arteriosclerosis, it is important to keep in mind the prevention of arteriosclerosis first. Most of the hardening of arteries is caused by disorder of lifestyle and lifestyle-related diseases. Leading a regular life leads to the prevention of arteriosclerosis and myocardial infarction.
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